What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Personal Injury Case?
If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury case is one way you can get compensated. There’s a lot that goes into determining compensation for a personal injury claim, which is why you should discuss your case with a Bedford personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out what your options are.
To discuss your personal injury claim and find out if you could receive compensation, call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225.
The first category of compensation is economic damages. These are the types of expenses that come to mind when you think about how a car accident could impact you financially:
- Medical expenses. Ambulance transportation, copays, hospital stays, adaptive equipment for the healing process, and medications are all items covered under this category. This is particularly important because health insurance often is unwilling to pay for your care if they believe another party is responsible for it.
- Property damage. Damage to your car, whether it needs repairs or is completely totaled, can be covered in a personal injury claim. Loss of or damage to other items in the vehicle may also fall under this category. Related expenses include towing and rental cars.
- Lost income. A car accident often requires at least one day off of work. If you have injuries that limit your ability to work or require a longer recovery period, you could be away from work for weeks or months. A personal injury claim allows you to recover that lost income.
The other primary type of damages you can seek compensation for with a personal injury case is non-economic damages. This includes:
- Pain and suffering. A car accident and subsequent recovery can be extremely painful. It is difficult to quantify the financial value of pain, but through non-economic damages, an accident victim can still get compensation for what they have suffered.
- Loss of quality of life. The victim of an accident may suffer a permanent decrease in their quality of life, particularly if the crash leaves them disfigured or permanently disabled.
- Lost earning capacity. If an accident leaves you disabled or with chronic pain, you may be unable to work at the same level you previously did. Furthermore, you may lose out on possible promotions and raises. When an accident permanently impacts your ability to work, you may get compensated for lost future earnings.
Punitive damages are fairly rare in Virginia personal injury cases, but the court does occasionally award victims punitive damages. These are only awarded if the other party displayed malice or wanton negligence in their actions. Punitive damages serve as punishment for the perpetrator but are paid to the victim. In addition to holding the responsible party accountable, punitive damages discourage similar behavior in the future.
The Role of Contributory Negligence
Those living in Virginia have an additional factor to consider when calculating damages. Virginia is one of the only states in the country that has a pure contributory negligence law. Under this law, you may be unable to recover damages in a personal injury case if you are found to be at all responsible for the accident. In other states, a victim’s award is not reduced by their share of fault. It is very rare for states to completely bar victims from getting compensation if they share liability.
This may affect the value of your settlement as you work with the insurance company. Insurance companies know that you, as a victim, take a risk when you go to court since you may well be awarded nothing. They may use this information to be more aggressive in negotiations or offer lower settlement amounts.
Let Our Experienced Attorneys Handle Your Personal Injury Case
Have you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence? If so, you shouldn’t be left paying for a stack of medical bills and repair fees. Let us help you go after the liable party for damages. We will fight aggressively on your behalf to hold the other party accountable for the harm they have caused. To schedule your consultation, call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225 or contact us online.